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Letters to The Editor
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Canada's beverage industry focuses on healthier choicesEdmonton Journal Fri Jun 22 2012
Canada's beverage industry focuses on healthier choices
Fri Jun 22 2012
Byline: Jim Goetz
Source: Edmonton Journal
Re: "Ban on jumbo junk foods justified; Don't mock Bloomberg's pop plan," by Dan Gardner, Ideas, June 18.
Dan Gardner's column cites a study from Cornell University. Unfortunately, both New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gardner misinterpret a number of key points in the study.
Brian Wansink, who conducted the study, was quoted in The Atlantic as saying: "There's a critical difference between the lab and Lexington Avenue that the mayor's office didn't account for: when Joe the plumber and Bob the banker buy soft drinks, they buy the size they want. They aren't randomly forced to take a 44-ouncer when they really wanted a 12-ouncer. Moreover, their Coke or Pepsi doesn't magically refill itself. If that happened, they'd overdrink."
"Instead, most restaurants give us a choice of a small or large drink, just as nearly every fast food outlet gives us a choice of small, medium or large fries and every movie theatre gives us a choice of small, medium or large popcorn. People who want a little buy a little, and people who want a lot figure a way to get it."
The Canadian Beverage Association believes Canadians are entitled to accurate, balanced and science-based information on which to make informed decisions. To that end our members have undertaken a number of actions to responsibly market their products and help promote a balanced lifestyle.
The industry offers consumers a variety of low-and no-calorie beverages and in the past 12 years the caloric content of all beverages produced by CBA members has declined by 25 per cent.
The CBA and its members launched Clear on Calories, a labelling initiative to help Canadians understand the caloric content and serving size of the beverages they are choosing. This initiative is currently rolling out across the country.
To provide parents with more control over what their children consume throughout the day our members introduced industry guidelines for the sale of beverages in schools. Completed in 2009, this commitment removed full-calorie soft drinks and provided more lower-calorie, nutritious and smaller-portion beverage options in schools nationwide.
In addition, Canadian Beverage Association members have committed to global marketing standards with many of our members participating in the Canadian Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which further limits marketing to children.
Jim Goetz, President, Canadian Beverage Association, Toronto